Tuesday, December 22, 2009

East Kent Sea and Countryside

Got out with my brother for a romp around East Kent this morning. We went from Canterbury to Grove Ferry along the Stour Valley Way, trampling across numerous farmers' fields, before cutting north for Reculver and the coast on the Saxon Shore Way.

A swan on the River Stour. The Stour runs through my home town of Canterbury.
A country house.

The Grove Ferry Inn. We cut north to the coast from here.
Pretty random.
We spent a lot of time route finding. Our first sight of the coast. Reculver towers in the distance.
By every church, there should be a watering hole.
Reculver towers. The ruins of an old Norman church sitting right on the coast.

From Reculver, we followed the coast to Herne Bay and then on to Whitstable before hooking into the Crab and Winkle Way, which is an old rail line that has been turned into a hiking trail between Whitstable and Canterbury.

Matt heading to Herne Bay.

Working the hill. Reculver towers in the background.
Beach huts and a wind farm out to sea. Herne Bay.
Funky signage on the Crab and Winkle.
Any cross-country route in the UK involves endless stile hopping.

Almost home. Outside Kent College, my old secondary school.

Canterbury to Herne Bay Pier was 16 miles, and then it was another six cold and breezy miles along the coast to Whitstable, followed by a further six back to Canterbury on the only section that I knew well. Total run was 28 miles in 4:15, with 20-25 minutes of that route finding and messing around. Great workout, and while I didn't feel like I needed to continue on and add any more miles I certainly felt like I could have. With 17 miles in the legs from the day before, this was a big confidence builder for Bandera.

The chalky Kentish mud sticks.
There is no finer post-run food.


  1. What a great tour. The photo with the beach huts is *gorgeous* -- the most striking thing I've seen today!

  2. Thanks for the photos! Such a nice distraction to what we have here. You were flying! That's smokin, I think Bandera is going to yield something Western Statesish for you!

  3. Thanks guys! I got lucky with the light on a rare sunny winter's day.

    Sonja - times and distances are somewhat approximtae, but yeah, we were moving well for the most part. We'll see on the WS thing.

  4. Looks like a fun adventure in sunny England!
    Here, you're missing a good snow, but it's kind of in between "enough to ski" and "good enough to run", especially the light snow stuck on top of the old mud/ice/crust in shady north aspects.

    In other words, you're not missing much! Go get 'em at Bandera!

  5. Thanks, Mike! Yeah, not missing that crusty nastiness. It may be muddy over here, but at least it's runnable.

  6. Beautiful! Love the mud! 3 Peaks is on my wish list; have you ever done it?

  7. Rick - had to look that one up. A little too much driving and not enough running for my tastes, but I'd love to do the Ben Nevis race one of these days: 4,460' of up in 8.7 miles (which includes the down - so ~1,000' climb/drop per mile - ouch).

  8. Good to hear that you and your brother got to bond with each other. I'm sure it's a nice and peaceful place.